Wednesday, May 30, 2018

I Think Meyerists Have Some Good Advice For Us

Last night we finished watching The Path.

I'm thinking that the show had some valuable insight about what society should do when we learn horrible things about a leader or creator.

What should happen to our favorite movies and TV shows when it's discovered that one of its primary players is a sexual abuser or racist?

Should we stop watching and purge it from our memory?  Should the show be ripped away from possible viewings? Should the show continue without the perpetrator? 

I think The Path would tell us to do the latter.

Here's what happens on The Path. (Spoiler Warning):

A group of people follow a fringe religion that is known by the outside world as being a cult.  The main characters of the story have been part of this religious community for most of their life. It's the backbone of their existence.

The religion was founded by a man named Steven Meyer (Keir Dullea). After Meyer's death, it is eventually revealed that Meyer stole the ideas for, the religion, from a young patient of his. He stole the ideas and then kicked the woman out of the community. On top of all that, he was a pedaphile who abused a young boy for many years.  

When Eddie Lane (Aaron Paul), the new leader, discovers the truth, he decides that they should be straightforward about their disgusting path. They should own it; purge it; and then move forward.  

They do this, and...I'm not sure what's going to happen next because Hulu canceled The Path.  

Hulu???!!!!

But I like to imagine, in the fictional universe, that the Meyerists heal and move forward in wonderful ways.

I know of three TV shows who have taken the same path as the characters in The PathHouse of Cards, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, and Transparent.  

I'm actually not personally affected by this, because I've never watched any of those shows.  I do wonder how it will work out, though. Will the shows remain popular,  or will they lose too much of their audience? Can the shows still remain interesting without their primary star? Is there a chance the show could actually end up being better?

I hope it does work out for all three shows. It's like the universe would be giving a great Fuck You to the abusers.  

It's sad if abuse also leads to the loss of jobs for decent actors, actresses, writers, directors, make-up artists, set directors, etc.

It's sad if fictional characters are put on permanent pause and pushed to be forgotten. 

So I think continuing the shows without the shitheads could be the best solution.

As for the latest mess.

What if instead of canceling Roseanne they continue it and rename it The Connors?

They shouldn't kill off Roseanne because that would make her a martyr.

What if instead she walks out on her family and hooks up with another Trump supporter?

Maybe she can end up doing illegal and immoral things; then go to prison.   

Ruin the character of Roseanne but let the other characters live on.  

Oh, and have all the other members of the Connor family because passionate members of the anti-Trump resistance. That would be cool.  


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Chicken in My Thai Food

Today we went to a new Thai restaurant. I'm not going to mention names...at this point.

The food was VERY delicious. We plan to go back. Hopefully soon.

But there were two problems.

First: I ordered pineapple fried rice. It was supposed to be vegetarian unless you ask for meat to be added. 

They brought the rice. I started eating it. It was amazingly good. But then I had a bite that tasted strange and not so good. I looked more closely at the food and saw things that looked like chicken. I asked for Tim's opinion. He looked. He tasted. He told me it was chicken. 

I didn't freak out.

Most meat doesn't totally gross me out. I'm just like, blah. I'm not going to take another bite of that.

Now if I had been accidentally served mayonnaise, I'd be totally freaking out. We'd probably never be going to that restaurant ever again.  

Anyway...

We called over a waiter. Or maybe a waiter came to us? I can't remember. He was apologetic. I think there was a waitress too at some point. She was apologetic. Some other man came out. I think he was the manager. He was also apologetic.

I was very calm and cordial. 

At some point, someone told us the food would be comped and they'd bring me the correct food soon. That sounded fair and kind of something I'd expect for the situation.
We had a lovely meal.

Then we got our bill.

We saw that the pineapple rice was there. 

What happened to the food being comped?  

I'm wondering, did they mean the chicken version was given to us free?  If so, that's ridiculous.  Because they didn't offer to let us keep it. Tim and Jack are meat eaters. They could have eaten it or taken it home to eat later.

If they simply made a mistake and forgot to take it off the bill, I'm not too bothered. Though that's two pretty major mistakes in one dining experience. If they're doing that with other diners, I hope they get their act together.  But...maybe we just had bad luck.

The thing that DOES bother me a lot is if they decided not to take it off the bill, because I didn't seem too bothered by it.  

This restaurant seems to pride itself on being vegetarian friendly. So vegetarians should be able to go their with peace of mind.  If they're casual about making meat-mistakes, I think that's a problem.

Also I think vegetarians and vegans have a reputation for being picky and demanding. So if I wasn't fitting the stereotype, should I be punished for that?

When we were at Disney World, a mistake was made and a little girl's princess gift surprise was accidentally placed in our room.  It was a bit of a hassle but mostly it was hilarious and fun. Tim and I were in good spirits about the whole thing, but we still appreciated the fact that Disney was apologetic AND gave us a little dessert gift for our troubles.  

I guess what I'm trying to say is if a mistake is made, the level of apologizes and compensation shouldn't be based on the outrage of the customer. Otherwise, the message there is that in order to be treated well we need to be loud and obnoxious.

That shouldn't be the case.

It would be a better world if it was the quiet, cooperative wheel that got the grease rather than the squeaky one. 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

I Will Keep Repeating the Same Story Until.....

I had another breakdown this weekend.

I think it happens now every time the whole family goes to the lake house, and I'm left behind.

I won't go into details about that.

I'll just say I was depressed. Then the depression turned into anger. And now I feel, actually, strong.  I'm in the mode of I'm-not-going-to-take-your-shit.

I'm not going to feel guilty about being angry.

I'm not going to feel guilty about blogging about it.

I'm not going to feel guilty about repeating a story I've already told on this blog.

I will keep repeating the story until I feel people truly feel remorse, and they make amends.

Right now my only defense in all this is being able to talk about it. Repeatedly.

So here's my story.  I'm going to tell it in numbered form. It's easier for me that way.

1. I started making montage videos for my family. This was back around 2003. I made a Thanksgiving video. Then I made other Thanksgiving videos. I also made vacation videos and birthday party videos.

2. My family acted enthusiastically impressed and grateful about my videos—especially my father, my older sister, and my older sister's husband.

3. Tim never seemed very enthusiastic or interested in the videos. He usually seemed kind of blah about the whole thing.

4. My father asked me to make a video montage for my younger sister's wedding. It was a stressful time consuming project but a huge honor.

I loved the attention I received.

5. At some point, it was suggested that I go professional. Maybe I could make videos for other people.

I brought this up to Tim, and he was not receptive to the idea. He's not a overtly controlling husband, so he did not forbid it. But he acted stressed out about it and pointed out how it would be difficult. Well, because I think I had asked him to make work sacrifices so he could put more childcare hours in.

6. At a cousin's birthday party, I brought DVD's I had made of one of my videos. I planned to pass them out to my mother, sister, etc...because it was a convenient time to do so.  With embarrassed exasperation, my mom wanted to know if I was going to request that the video be shown at my cousin's party. No, that had not been my plan. I'm not rude like that.

My mom's comment made me feel my videos were becoming an annoyance rather than a gift.

There was that, and in general, my family started acting less enthusiastic about my films.

7. I told Tim about my insecure, hurt feelings.  What I needed was a husband who said things like, Your videos are awesome! Your family still likes them. Maybe they're just taking them for granted. 

Instead I was shamed by him for wanting admiration and attention for my work. He gave me a mini-lecture on how I need to do the things I love FOR me, because I enjoy them.

This is bullshit, because he spends a lot of energy and time doing things to impress my parents, sisters, brother-in-laws, and nieces and nephews.

I have let myself be ashamed for feeling this need to be noticed and appreciated...for my singing, writing, videos, etc. I will NOT be ashamed any longer.

8. I backed down from making videos for awhile. I'm not sure how long. It was probably around six years.

9. In 2011, I tried to get back into making family videos. I made a montage of lake house experiences.
Around the same time, Tim made a video of our San Francisco trip.

My lake house video was met with much less enthusiasm than Tim's San Francisco video. That hurt me a lot.

10. In 2013, I made several videos of our trip to Australia.

I was definitely getting back into making videos.

11. In 2014, my dad hired a professional to do my niece's Bat Mitzvah.  I was a little hurt by this but also somewhat relieved.

What I was not happy about was he asked Tim to assist the professional.  Why wasn't I asked as well?

Mistakes were made by the professional. He neglected members of the family in the video, and people were hurt by this. A week or two before the Bat Mitzvah, my dad called an emergency and asked Tim AND me to please make a video.

I give my dad credit for at least including me.

12. Tim did not include me. He wasn't overt about this. But he took control, and I felt my input was not welcomed.

One of his excuses was that his computer was the one with the expensive Final Cut editing program.  Like we couldn't share computers? Or he couldn't have given me the program?

13. I had to endure seeing Tim get all kinds of praise at the Bat Mitzvah. This hurt because that praise used to go to me.

14. What makes things worse is, Tim already gets shitloads of attention from the family. His photographs. His cooking. His willingness to jump in and help whenever someone has a problem. (Though he doesn't do the same amount of enthusiastic jumping for me)

15. Tim had the actual nerve to approach the wedding coordinator and try to solicit business. How dare he do that after discouraging me years ago?

16. I think it would have been okay if he had done it as a partnership—the two of us.

He didn't. I actually jumped in, and said I was available too.  I felt like a freak. I shouldn't have. I should have felt like the victim of assholeness.

17. I think I had enough fights with Tim over this, that when it came time for the second family Bat Mitzvah, Tim let me have more input. He did do more of the work, but I helped. I picked one of the songs and helped pick another. I helped go through photos to make sure people were represented. I designed/edited parts of the video.

18. For a brief time, I felt things were getting better, and I could start healing and forgiving. Because I had been carrying a shitload of anger.

19. My dad sent an email out thanking us for the video. He then described my contribution as letting my husband slave over the video. In other words, thanks for being a good wife by standing way behind your man, so he could do brilliant things for us.

I was furious and opened up about all the anger I had been suppressing from my family for the past few years.

My dad ended the conversation by playing family-boss and saying, I hope we can turn this down a notch and reflect on the wonderful weekend we all experienced. 

20. Although a certain member of the family privately reached out to me and gave me comfort, no one stood up for me. No one told my dad to shove it; that I have a right to be angry.

21. What I felt is that my family was saying, you know that anger you've been suppressing these past few years...well, we're going to request that you keep suppressing.

Well, to my dad and the rest of them: I AM not going to ever turn it down a notch again. I'm going to keep turning it up a notch until remorse is shown and amends are made.

22. Also, in his emails, my dad claimed that I had announced my retirement from making videos.  I don't remember telling anyone this besides Tim.  Maybe I forgot? Maybe my dad is telling the truth. But since he has gaslighted me before, I'm leaning towards believing my own memory.

23. Even if my dad is correct and I, at some point, announced a retirement...I had obviously come out of retirement when I made the lake house video in 2011.

24. I expressed my anger to Tim, my mom, and my sister yesterday.

There's now the idea that people can make amends by asking me to make videos. It's convenient for them, because Tim hasn't been great at finishing videos he started.

25. I am NOT making videos for my family. I lost the love for it, probably because the shit I've endured. If I do ever want to get back into making videos, I do not need their invitation or their permission.

26. If I do get back into making videos, it will not be of my parents, sisters, or my sister's family.  I will not do that for them. They made the choice to hurt me by choosing Tim over me. They can't change things now that Tim is not coming through for them.

27. I told Tim if he makes video montages for my family, I will not be his partner. I will not be his assistant. I will not be his cheerleader. I will not be his test audience. I will not be the good little wife who stands aside so he can get work done.  He will be expected to do all his household chores.

Tim told me his plan is to not make any more videos for my family. That's fine. I'm not sure if he said that because he means it, or he was hoping I'd say, Oh no! I'm sorry! I didn't mean that you can't still make videos for them!  

I told him he can make videos of our family (him, Jack, and me) and he can make movies of his family. THAT I will support. I will be his cheerleader, test audience, etc.

28. I will also not support, and I will be be bitchy, angry if Tim tries to make money off of his montage videos. If he wants to go into business making other types of videos, fine. Great!  But I will not support him making videos for weddings, birthday parties, etc.  It is not okay to pursue the same dream you discouraged in someone else.

29. I imagine people reading this, thinking that I should shut the fuck up and just accept that Tim's videos were better than mine.

It's a matter of opinion, but I don't think they're better at all.

30. I have so much anger and disgust right now. It has all risen to the surface.

The only way this anger MIGHT subside is if I'm not the only one having it.

When my family gives me an indication that they regret what they did and feel anger at themselves for what they did; when they stop telling me to take it down a notch; when they stop trying to gaslight me; when they stop trying to humor me; then maybe I will start the process of forgiveness.

Other stuff I forgot to add in....

31. My sister started to refer to my old videos as Tim and Dina's videos. I made my videos on my own without Tim's help.  He did do a minimal amount of filming but so did several other people. This made me furious on top of my already-fury.

32. The main reason I asked Tim, and other people, to film, at times, was I wanted to be in our family videos. I wanted it to look like I was part of the family. I wanted it to look like I was also at birthday parties and on family vacations. I didn't want it to look like Tim was a single father.

In other words, I wanted Tim to take videos of me. But sometimes when I handed him the camera, instead of taking videos of me, he'd use it as an opportunity to play around with camera angles. It hurt that I had to push my husband to film me. It's embarrassing to have to do that—push people to take your photograph or a video of you.  It makes me feel vain. And you know what, it's fucking okay to feel a little vain sometimes. And it's okay to want yourself recorded...for yourself, for your son, for future grandchildren, etc. I want people to know that I too was there.

33. Sometimes I have given Tim a partial pass, because he used to make camp photographic montage videos. I had loved his videos, and his music choices actually inspired some of my early videos. (Not videos I made for the family, but videos I had made for college friends).

Tim had every right to also make montage videos. But he should not have tried to swoop in and taken over with one of the few things that made me feel I was valued in the family.

IF he had been MY cheerleader when I was making videos and if he had discouraged me from giving up when I felt not appreciated enough; then it might have felt much less like swooping in.

34. While I made videos of both my extended family AND videos of just the three of us, Tim only made videos of the extended family. This is why I think it's less about loving the work and more about loving the attention from my family.

Later he did start making a videos of our trip to Japan.  I'll give him credit for that.

35. I feel I may have forgotten things. I might add them in later.

36. (edited to add)  I will continue to speak out publicly (imagined public) about this grievance and other ones, because doing so privately doesn't work. I'm told to take it down a notch. I'm dismissed in other ways. I'm gaslighted.  At best, I am temporarily humored. THAT is not enough. This blog is my way of feeling I have a voice.

37. (edited to add) I have three theories to why this all happened.

A) My family preferred Tim's video to mine.  But if this was the case, they should have just said to themselves, Well, Tim's videos are a bit better, but we can't hurt our daughter like this, because we're nice, considerate people.

If my videos were crap, that's a different story. But seeing that my dad asked me to make my sister's wedding video, a video that was seen by a a few hundred people, I seriously doubt he saw me as a crappy videographer.  And yes, he seemed happy with the finished project. He made copies and eagerly passed them out to people in the family.

B) Tim really longs for the attention of my family and doesn't like me getting in the way of that. He swooped in, and my family simply didn't have the consideration to notice and stick up for me.

C) It's all based on the misogynistic idea that men need and deserve to feel appreciated and honored.  Tim may not be a better videographer than me, but his need to be needed is more important than mine.  A woman's role is to stand behind her man and let him feel the wonderful glow of glory.

I refuse to be the fucking wind under anyone's wings.  People either understand that I need to fly too,  or they get the fuck of out of my way.






Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Good Ugly News!

I am feeling better about being ugly!

Why?

I think I figured something out.

I think neurology is causing the problem!

See...my mouth has become crooked in the last year or so.  I think that's what's really making me ugly, more so than the weight gain or the melasma on my cheeks.

My smile is really, really awful.

I thought the problem was my old cross-bite. I thought it had returned because I haven't worn a retainer in years.  But I've been looking at my teeth, and I'm not seeing any wrongful overlapping.

I think my LIPS aren't moving the way they should.

Yeah. It's not fun losing attractiveness.

But I think it's worse when you feel you're the cause. You didn't wear your retainer after your parents spent all that money on braces. You didn't wear sunblock, so now your skin is damaged. You're putting too much hot fudge on your ice-cream every night, so now you have a double chin. You were trying to imitate the chef at the Hibachi restaurant, and made some major mistakes with the knife....

Now I'll need to figure out if there are mouth exercises I can do to fix this.  Or medicine...if I ever see a neurologist.

Maybe there are teas. I'm really into drinking tea lately.

If I can't fix it, I'll just learn to live with it.

And I'll remember, that there's beauty in ugly.



Edited to Add: Now I'm having my doubts. Maybe it IS my teeth...or jaw. That might be what's crooked.

Also maybe the crookedness has been there for awhile, but it didn't look awful until I gained all this weight.

I don't know.

I'm confused.

And...I'm feeling even more and more ugly.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

More Bad News about Neurologists

Today I learned that not only is there a shortage of neurologists in the United States, but a large percentage of the neurologists available are suffering burnout.

The article I saw is really disheartening.

It makes me feel bad for myself. It makes me feel bad for other people who have neurological issues. And it makes me feel bad for the neurologists and their families.

I only skimmed through the article before.

Now I'm going to read it more closely.

So....

The article says that burnout can cause doctors to harm patients because they lack empathy and make errors.

I need to expect that if/when I finally see a neurologist that she's probably not going to act like she cares about me or my symptoms. She'll probably act bored and annoyed, not because she's a bitch. But she's probably thinking about how she's exhausted and doesn't see her partner and/or children enough. OR if she's single, she might be thinking about how she's so behind on Netflix and has had no time to go on dates.

As for some of the causes of burnout, the article mentions financial pressure to see too many patients and technology that is not user-friendly.

I know from experience that technology can make life easier and better, but it also can make life harder.  I think technological savvy people pressure the rest of us to use more and more advanced computers. THEY think it's easy to use, so they assume it will be easy for us too. OR they don't care if it's easy for us. Their idea is is if we have problems, we'll pay and/or beg them to help us.  They have control and we are lost.

I was reading an old Livejournal entry a few days ago. I talked about being furious, because Tim and my dad thought it would be a good idea for me to upgrade my video editing technology. I had been perfectly content with the old, but they believed I needed something new. The new was much harder to navigate.  Eventually I was able to handle it, but the experience was frustrating.

Imagine being an overworked doctor with too many patients and then having to deal with difficult technologies.  It doesn't paint a pretty picture in my head.

Well, here's a depressing line from the article. A neurologist says,  I now take the Monday off after working the whole weekend so I can reboot from the emotional exhaustion. I often take Wednesdays off the other weeks, which allows me to get the kids to their orthodontic appointments, catch up on laundry, complete my CME, and finish paperwork from the office. I have found that even though my income has taken a hit from taking this time off, my mental wellbeing is stronger for it.

How the fuck is that taking time off?  Catching up on laundry? Taking kids to appointments? Finishing paperwork?

No.

Taking time off is taking a walk, getting a massage, watching Netflix, playing a video game, going out for ice-cream, Hanging out at the beach....

I wonder, though, if the doctor DOES do fun and relaxing things but is ashamed to admit it. Our society has such a Protestant work ethic.  Often people are afraid to admit that they take time to relax and enjoy life.

Now I'm going to read about what can be done to lessen all this burnout.

Probably nothing, really.

But it's sweet that people are trying to come up with solutions.

One idea listed is for doctors to join professional organizations. Yeah! So on that weekend they could have gone on that short cruise, they'll instead be attending a work conference.

I guess there could be some positives. Being with other people who share your interests and tribulations may be therapeutic.  On the other hand, what if you end up conversing with some asshole who has this need to prove that he's more awesome at neurology than you are?

The article suggests that having advanced nurses could help. I do agree with this one. It can lessen the workload, and it provides more attention to the patient. When we went to see doctor's office to get the referral, we saw the physician assistant instead of the doctor. I think, because, it was easier to get an appointment.

The physician assistant spent a lot of time with us. If we had seen the doctor, he might have been more rushed.

Anyway, if the time comes that I finally see a neurologist, I shall try to be sympathetic towards them. I will try to be patient and understanding.  I will also try not to take any of their rudeness, impatience, coldness, etc. personally.


Oh, and on a brighter note. The neurologist I've been assigned to IS open about doing fun things. She lists her hobbies as cooking, dancing, and outdoor activities. That's cool. Cooking can be seen as a chore, but for other people it's a fun, relaxing thing. I don't think the same can be said for laundry or driving to orthodontist appointments. UNLESS...you have a crush on your child's orthodontist.  If that's the case, those appointments might be your favorite leisure activity.

The other doctor in the practice likes fishing, traveling, and riding a motorcycle. I sure hope she wears a helmet!  Being a neurologist, it would be ironic if she didn't. But I once knew a respiratory therapist who smoked.  So.....

The Bad Place

I'm feeling depressed this morning.

I think I have felt off and on depression for the last year or so.

When I say off and on, I mean some hours of the day I feel awful and then other hours I feel fine.

I think maybe I feel worse in the morning. Or at least these past two mornings, I've felt worse.

That makes me wonder if my dreams are playing a part in it. Or it could be that the hormones and other chemicals in my body are in a bad state in the morning.

I don't know.

Anyway, I'm going to list some of the reasons I feel depressed...or really a list of things that are bothering me. I'm not sure if they're actually causing the depression.

I say some, not all, because I figure I'll end up forgetting some stuff.

A) I'm so physically ugly.  If you don't believe me,  here's a recent photo that my nephew took of me. I look hideous.  Okay. It's a bad picture. Yeah. The problem is, lately in photos I either look hideous or mediocre. I miss being beautiful.

B) I feel guilty about worrying about my appearance.

C) I'm eight pounds overweight

D) I have little hope that losing weight will help my appearance, because before I gained all this weight, I was also ugly.

E) I'm tired of waiting to hear from the neurologists or referral company. All this hassle is more stressful than my actual symptoms

F) My symptoms have been on hiatus for the past couple of days, so then I feel I'm making a big deal out of nothing. I feel ridiculous. Fortunately I write down most of my symptoms, so I can read that and remind myself that these things actually happen to me.

G) I feel one of my cats (Annie) is mad at me. I started reading about tail behavior and am now noticing Annie almost never has her tail raised when she's around me. Tail up means happiness. Tail down means unhappy things.

She does still purr around me. She follows me sometimes, and she calls out for my attention. So I don't think she hates me or is indifferent to me. I think she's just mad that I brought a new cat into the house.

H) I worry Annie and Yeti will never be friends. I worry Yeti will have to be kept closed off in a room his whole life. Or we'll let him go free range, and Annie will end up with severe anxiety.

I) I worry about a shitload of other things involving the health, safety, and future of other people.

J) I feel like a nag, because I have to keep pestering other people about these certain things.

K) This morning, I read two journal entries, from two different time periods, and in both I felt incredibly rejected. While reading about those past experiences, I felt rejected all over again.

L) Close to no one reads my blog. So I'm pretty much just talking to myself right now. That makes me feel lonely and rejected. 

M) I feel self-centered because most of my depression is about myself and people close to me. I've been paying less attention to what's happening in the world lately.  Or really...I still know about it. But maybe it's more like I've become numb.  I just expect people to be disgustingly racist. I just expect misogynist assholes will go on shooting sprees. I just expect that psychopaths and narcissists will continue to physically, emotionally, and sexually abuse those who have less power than them.

N) I haven't won HQ even once! And we've been playing since February.   

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Beggars Can't Be Choosers

This morning I was feeling slightly depressed—a mixture of stress and hopelessness.

I tried to figure out why I was feeling this way.

I decided it might be because there's so much in our life that's defective or broken, and it's so difficult and/or expensive to get it all fixed.

This week I learned, from Tim, that there's a shortage of building contractors. This means it's going to be very challenging to find workers who can fix all the things that are wrong with our house. And there are a TON of problems with our house. Some stuff can wait, but other stuff needs to get done very soon.

Tim struggled to find someone to help us. Someone came, did some work, announced they were done; then Tim checked on their work and saw there was so much NOT done. He called someone else. They're supposed to come tomorrow. But who knows if they'll show up. And if they show up, they too might do crap work. Or they might do okay work but overcharge us.

My sister's family had a shit of a mess when they bought a new house recently. It took forever for them to get to the point where they could move into their house. I think this is due to this shortage of building contractors.  Because there's so much work available, people who CAN do the job, can also afford to be as lazy, incompetent, unreliable, etc. as they want.

Another job that's in shortage, in the United States, is neurologists. I learned that this morning when I Googled to find out what's the average wait time to see a neurologist, and what's the reason behind this.

I read this article and this one.

In a strange way, it made me feel better and at the same time, maybe worse.

I sort of felt it was taking a long time for me to see a neurologist because the universe is against me seeing a neurologist. Why? I thought it was because the universe hates me or doesn't give a shit about me.

But now I've learned that there are a lot of people needing to see a neurologist, and there are a lot of people waiting.

The cause? More and more people are living long enough to develop Alzheimer's and other age-related neurological disorders. Obamacare has given more people the opportunity to afford medical care. SO...there's more demand.  As for supply...according to the second article, I read, the cost of medical school for neurology outweighs the benefits that will be received. Neurologists are paid less. If I'm understanding things correctly.

One of the frustrating things for me is that I've already been through the waiting period for the first appointment.  We called for an appointment in...October, I think. Then we had an appointment in December. In January I was supposed to get an EEG. But we changed insurances and then needed a referral to get any more neurology tests, examinations, treatments, etc.

We could have asked to be referred to the same neurologist, but I had been thinking, well he wasn't actually that great, so maybe let's try someone else.

If I had known about this neurologist shortage, maybe I would have made a different choice. I wouldn't need a second initial appointment and could have probably already started the EEG adventures.

Anyway....

With our newly assigned neurologist, to just MAKE the appointment takes time. The neurologist office we were referred to said it would take 7-10 days to get back to us. I assume that's business days, because otherwise they're late. Once we talk to them, I imagine our appointments will be a month or two from now.

And once the appointment arrives? I doubt it's going to give me any satisfaction. Since neurologists are in shortage, like builders, they can afford to be what I don't want them to be—rude, cold, ignorant, uninformed, dismissive, etc.

It seems it would be less stressful and less expensive to just let nature take it's course. Really. What's the chance of going to a neurologist and getting the correct diagnosis and the correct (if needed) treatment?  I don't have much hope, personally.

But...I'll probably go, anyway. Someday.

Edited to add 7/2/19-I ended up going to that neurologist (Maria de Jesus at DFW Neurology). It was a total nightmare which I've described in several posts.  


Saturday, May 19, 2018

There's a Wedding Today

The other day I was blabbing on and on to Tim about the British royal family.

I can't remember exactly what I said.

I think it was along the lines of, though I'm not super knowledgable and obsessed with the royal family like some people; I do like the whole concept.

I can't explain why really.

I just like it.

Most of it probably comes from watching The Crown, and also, a few years ago, I was a bit obsessed with The King's Speech.

BUT....

I had no idea the wedding was today.

I knew there was a wedding coming up...sometime in the next year or so.

I knew Harry was marrying an American actress who's half African-American. All that is very wonderful and exciting to me.

If there's a spectrum of liking the Royal Family with red being a super fan and purple hating them; I'd put myself at around yellow.

If there's a spectrum of being knowledgeable about the Royal Family, I'm probably between blue and green.

I do follow Royal Family Instagram accounts. I started that after watching The Crown. But I don't often carefully read the caption. I think I just look at the photos and think, Queen Elizabeth is so adorable! 

Also I don't often read Royal Family articles that I see in my newsfeed. If I did, I might have known the wedding was today.

I DO know that the new baby is named Louis. I caught that. Though there was a time that the princess gave birth and I had no idea she was pregnant. I think that was with Charlotte.

I think Charlotte is adorable.

Another thing I know is that the young future king goes to a school that doesn't allow best friends.  I think I read through that article, because I used to be a preschool teacher. So that particularly interested me.

Friday, May 18, 2018

TV Shows I've Watched Lately

I've decided to do a post on all the TV shows I've watched this month.

I'm going to list them from my least favorite to my favorite.  The ranking might get difficult, for me, because I'm really loving some of these shows.

1. The Elegant Gentleman's Guide to Knife Fighting. This is an Australian variety show featuring Patrick Brammall and other people.

I think I actually hated the first episode. I think I gave it the lowest rating I've ever given anything on IMDb. Something offended me. Though now I can't remember what it was.

As I got further into the show, I stopped hating it. I even laughed a few times.

2. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt From what I've heard, this show is very well-liked. But so far, it's not liked too much by me.

I've only watched two episodes, though. It might grow on me.

I'm not sure why I don't like it.

Maybe it's too silly?

Maybe Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) is too cutesy?

My problem might be with the characterization. Kimmy spent time as a prisoner of a cult. She was kept from the outside world. Yet I don't think there's enough naiveness in her personality to reflect this. She seems too wise, witty, and confident.

But...who knows.

By episode five, I might be totally in love with the show.

3. Modern Family- This is the show that Tim and I watch together when we don't feel like we have the time or energy to watch one of our longer shows—usually because we've started dinner late. I like to start watching something before eight, so afterwards I have time to give attention to the cats, AND get myself to bed on time.

I enjoy Modern Family. We used to be big fans of the show; then dropped out of the lovefest around season four or five. Then, a year or so ago, we got back into it.

I like that they've managed to keep the kids on the show and that the kids are still fun to watch. Though I do find it strange, that out of four young adults in a middle class family, not one of them has gone away for college. It might have been more realistic to send one far away for college; then create a spin off...like they did with The Cosby Show.

One thing that bothers me about Modern Family is they normalize things like gaslighting and other forms of dishonesty and manipulation. They make these things seem harmless, but in reality, it's often not.

BUT you know...maybe the thing that makes it okay is, almost all the characters on the show are dishonest. They all lie to each other.  I think many of the episodes are based on the premise that one character is struggling to hide a secret not realizing that the character they're lying to has their own secret they're struggling to hide.

For example, in the episode we watched this week, Claire (Julie Bowen) and Phil (Ty Burrell) are in competitive mode and want to race each other. They both lie about being in shape, and then they both try to hide their severe post-racing pain.

So, yeah. I think if you have two dishonest people, maybe things balance out, and it's more okay. But it would be different if Claire was very honest. What if she admitted to Phil that she felt out of shape because she hadn't worked out for awhile. Then in return, Phil told her he's totally in shape because he's been playing basketball every week...even though he's actually been using that time to play with robots. They race. Claire admits to being in pain. Phil ACTS like he's in pain. He groans and grimaces, but when Claire questions him, he snaps, I'm fine! I feel great!  For Pete's Sake. Turn it down a notch! You sound like a broken record.

4. Miranda I watched the second season of this. It took me an episode or two to get back into it. I find the laugh track, and breaking-of-the-fourth wall, a bit jarring at first.

But after the short adjustment period, I really enjoyed it. It's a fun, easygoing, happy show.

My favorite episode this season was "Just Act Normal". If I remember correctly, the whole episode occurred on one set—a psychiatrist's office.  Miranda (Miranda Hart) and her mother (Patricia Hodge) try to prove to a psychiatrist (Mark Heap) that their mental health is superb. And....they pretty much fail miserably.

5The Let Down-This is a brilliant new Australian show about the earliest stages of parenthood. It's mostly comedy, but there's some drama as well.

Audrey (Allison Bell) is the center of the story. She and her husband struggle to adjust to having a new baby. Then the show also tells the story of the various mothers (and a father) in Audrey's parenting group.

I was going to say we need more shows like this, so people can be more understanding of what new parents have to endure.  But even if the most honest shows are made and watched, will it actually help people understand more. Or is it something you can never understand unless
you endure it personally?

Well, you know....I think it MIGHT help. Because there are so many other TV shows that give a unrealistic view of parenthood. Often new babies are more like accessories. The mothers and fathers go along with their usual lives with just a few minor glitches here and there. Or they might struggle a bit for an episode or two; then everything is back to normal.

When I was pregnant, I believed my life would be keeping Jack in the bassinet; then every hour or so taking him out to breastfeed, change diaper, cuddle, etc.  And I read parenting books! I was a preschool teacher! But still. Despite all that, I was surprised by the intensity of it all.

6Supernatural. I watched the first season, and loved it.

It reminds me a bit of Charmed—a family working together to fight demons and other naughty things.

It was nice seeing Jeffery Dean Morgan without Lucille.

My one complaint is with the episode that takes place in DFW Texas ("Hell House").  I live there, and the place they were at DID not look like the city I know.  They made us look like we're all a bunch of cowboys. What do all young people do on the weekend? They go to a rodeo dance club, of course!

I'm imagine there are small towns in Texas that are that way, and I'm sure there are subgroups of the population of DFW that might be that way. But no. We're not all living the cowboy life here.

I think most people here do what people do all over the world—go to Starbucks, see Marvel movies at the movie theater, eat at Food Truck parks, complain about the prices at Whole Foods, go to trendy restaurants, march against guns, work out at fitness clubs, drink at (NON-western) bars, etc.

Once a year we have a few weeks of rodeo stuff.

Anyway, the episode made me wonder how many times a TV show has tricked me into thinking  Vancouver is accurately portraying an American city or town.

I watch Bates Motel and imagine there really are small towns in Oregon that look like that. But maybe people in Oregon watch it and think, that is SO not us!

7. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.   I LOVE LOVE LOVE this show. It's one of those that makes me regret that I watch only one season at a time, and that I rely on random.org and a too-long list to pick my next TV shows.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a comedy-musical about love and mental illness.

I actually didn't know it was a musical, so I was a bit confused and surprised when the first song started happening.

But...I love all the songs. They're funny and catchy. I find myself singing bits and pieces here and there.




The show is about a woman named Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) who runs into her ex-boyfriend Josh (Vincent Rodriguez) in NYC, and decides happiness lies in following him to his hometown of West Covina, California.  She moves there and tries to deny to herself, and others, that she moved there because of him.

I really hate the popular agenda of trying to end mental health stigma by saying it's a disease. Really? Since when is having a disease a positive thing? Are people with physical illnesses not stigmatized? Are people with MS, AIDS, cancer, diabetes, Lupus, Parkinson's, etc. not treated with pity, suspicion, nervousness, blame, etc? 

I think things like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend do a MUCH better job of reducing stigma. Because the show has two messages. A) Someone can have mental issues and still be a nice, adorable, fun person. B) Everyone is a bit mental.

Rebecca is really not the only crazy one on the show. Everyone is a bit nuts, and some of the other characters are a lot nuts. They all have their baggage. They all have their issues. And it's the same for all of us in real life.

It's kind of the same with all my diaries I recently read. I was a bit mentally messed-up, but so was every single other person that I mentioned in my diaries. We're all fucked in the head; then we interact and fuck each other up even more in the head. It's the circle of life!

The Path- This is the main show that Tim and I have been watching together. It's about a cult that has some similarities to Scientology.

I think it's amazing. Though it took me awhile to get into it. I had a hard time adjusting to Hugh Dancy being creepy-disturbed rather than sexy-disturbed. Cal Roberts is no Will Graham.  BUT...my heart has slowly warmed to him.

I'm going to maybe sound contradictory here. But while I don't like The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt because she doesn't act like someone who escaped a cult. I love The Path because the members of the Meyerism movement don't act the way I imagine cult members would act.

There IS a difference, though. I think Kimmy is an actual victim of kidnapping. She and a few other women were kept prisoner underground.

The characters on The Path are part of the cult by choice. They're not prisoners. They have their own little community, but they're not completely cut off from the rest of the world.

Despite being part of something that's a bit like Scientology, the Meyerists are funny, down to earth, casual, etc.  But there's some dark side stuff—murder, secrets, blackmail, molestation, brainwashing, ostracizing, hypocrisy, etc.

The show isn't about bad people who trick other people into believing a bunch of lies. It's about people who might actually have the right destination, but they're walking on the wrong paths to get to that destination.

Coronation Street-This show might always be number one for me.  Well...I hope it is.

Now I'm scared that I'm jinxing myself.

But...for now, at least. I'm amazed.

I have to remind myself that I'm watching actors play pretend people. It all feels so real to me.

If you are a person who has been reluctantly addicted to American soap operas for a long time, I strongly suggest you try Coronation Street...or maybe another British soap opera.  UNLESS you like stories about towns where every woman looks like a fashion model and people repeatedly return from the dead.

I love Coronation Street because the characters look and act like the people I see and know in real life.

I love Coronation Street because it has a great mix of drama and comedy.

I also love the show, because whoever is writing the show has a great understanding of the dark tedtrad personality traits (narcissism, psychopathy, machiavellian, and sadism). I'm very interested in those traits. And I find some of the storylines to be cathartic.

Coronation Street has been on for 58 years. I hope it goes on and on for many decades more. I hope one day I can say to people, I've been watching Coronation Street for thirty years.....



Thursday, May 17, 2018

Annie and Yeti

We have become a two cat family!

Annie has been with us since last June. She appeared in our backyard, and I said, MINE!

No. I'm joking. I have some ethics.

I went online and searched through lost cats. I also walked around the neighborhood and went to Petsmart to see if she had a microchip.  

After all that, and a trip to the vet, she became ours.

Annie is sweet, adorable, and hilarious.  

She has also gotten a bit fat (my fault), and now she's on a diet. 

Originally we had wanted to adopt two cats together, but Annie didn't come to the backyard with a partner. For the past several months, we've gone back and forth from wanting a second cat and not wanting a second cat.

One of the main reasons we wanted a second cat is so that Annie could have company when we go out of town.

We have a cat sitter come everyday. The problem is Annie is scared of non-family humans and hides the whole time. We went to Disney World in February, and Annie had almost two weeks of no interaction with another living thing.  Well...I guess I can hope that she bonded with a cockroach.  Maybe they had some good conversations.

Now the problem with adopting a second cat for potential companionship is cats don't always get along with other cats. There's no guarantee of BFF's.  It could end up so bad that we have to keep the cats permanently separated.

Hopefully it won't end up being that bad!

 We adopted Yeti from the Humane Society last Tuesday.  

At first his name was Snowball. We thought of keeping it but considered the fact that he might not not have had a happy life with the people who gave him that name.  

We went through several names.

Tim and I liked Miyazaki for the Japanese animator.  But then Jack pointed out that the name was too long.  

Then we were torn between Duffy and Yeti.  Both those names are Disney inspired. The Duffy is the cute bear character that is popular in Tokyo Disney. Yeti would be for our favorite Disney World ride.

We ended up with Yeti.

A lot of times, though, I end up calling him Other Cat. I'm thinking we should just use OC as a nickname.  

Note: I'm not rude enough to call him Other Cat to his face. When we're together I use Yeti. It's more like when I'm talking to Tim, Jack, and Annie.  

Well, here is something confusing, and sorry, I'm going to be sounding sexist.

It's hard to keep their genders straight.  I didn't have problems seeing Annie as female before. But then Yeti came along. Yeti is white, which I think is more associated with female cats.  Or maybe I'm just thinking of the white cat in Aristocrats. Are there other famous white female cats?

Anyway....besides that. Yeti also has a very feminine way of sitting. And he just has a very female aura in general.  So my mind keeps thinking of him as a girl, and I guess my brain knows we have a male cat and female cat, so it's turned Annie into a boy.  

I'm really mixing up my he's and she's.  

So...here's the Annie and Yeti relationship story so far.

We're working hard on following the advice of websites and cat volunteer people.

Yeti has been living in my office. We've let them smell each other via our hands, toys, etc.  

We fed them both with a door between them. The door has a fairly large space at the bottom, so they could hear and smell each other. No hissing. No growing. We thought things were going well.  

A week passed and we had read that, after a week, the cats might be ready to meet. 

I let Yeti walk around the house...with my supervision.  Annie watched intently. She seemed uptight, but sort of okay. Then Yeti started to approach, and Annie hissed at him. I quickly separated them.

Later I tried again and chickened out before Yeti got close. I whisked him away.

Tim and I tried again that evening.  This time, Annie hissed twice and growled.

We separated them.

I started feeling a bit nervous that we'd have two cats who'd forever have to be kept separated.  

Then I did some reading, and found a website that talked about a much slower process. So for now, we're on hiatus regarding the cats seeing each other 

Hopefully they'll end up tolerating each other, and Yeti can be free to roam the house whenever he wants.

If they end up loving each other...that would be fantastic.  But...we shall see.






My Life in 1995 (Part 8)...and also a bit of 1996

More of this diary shit....




My mind is spinning with ideas about the future. I know I want to be with Tim. That is one definite. I know I want to write. Right now I'm just interested in making money and establishing a life. (7/4/95)

I think I was pressured to find a career.

My feeling now is it would have probably been better to have just found a job; then go from there. Work; keep writing in my spare time; then see what happens.

I feel sad and stressed out because my family loves me but they give way too much advice. I don't know what to do.

I think the funniest part of my life is Tim. The whole thing is just so hilarious.

I don't know. I love him, but then my family is jealous of him. I guess. I don't know. Tim is the best listener, so if they are going for a listening contest, they should be jealous. But besides that, they don't need to be jealous.

I guess right now I just want to live my own life and be free. (7/10/95)

Wow. That IS hilarious. Because for a LONG time, I've been jealous of Tim's relationship with my family.  It seems crazy that there was a time that I thought my family was jealous of Tim.

Had they met Tim yet? We all went to Chicago, and they met him there. Had that happened and I hadn't yet written about it in my diary?

I'm thinking it hadn't happened yet.

I think what happened is my parents were weary of this man they never met. Then when they met him, they fell in love with him, and he fell in love with them.

I am feeling much better about life. I decided I'm going to write young adult literature, because that is what my writing style is like. I hope that, while in California, I either sell a screenplay or get a book published. I want to be successful. 

I have such a perfect relationship and I am happy and thankful for that. Tim is the greatest guy in the world, and I have no fears or reservations about spending my life with him.  (7/23/95)

I didn't sell a screenplay or get a book published in California. Nor did it happen for me in New York or Texas. I did self-publish some novels. I guess that's okay. But it doesn't make me feel successful.

Anyway there was a big jump between the two diary entries. I'm guessing during those unwritten days, we went to Chicago.

I am sad about April and I miss her a lot. I wish I knew that she was alive. I wish there was a cure for CF, and all the kids would be alive again. (8/2/95)

I'm not sure why I was suddenly thinking about CF. I'm guessing it had something to do with Tim, since I had originally met him at CF camp, and he had three brothers with CF.

If I remember correctly....

The first time Tim kissed me, I think we were looking at his old camp photos. I saw a photo of Passha, one of my campers, who had died, and I started crying.

I am so bored because there is nothing to do. All my stuff is gone. I am a bit excited about moving to a new apartment, but I see no point anymore in film school. It all seems like a complete waste. I feel very forced into this. My parents make me go to school and then they say I shouldn't act like I am going to school only because they force me to.  But I am only acting out the truth. They say I always wanted to go to film school. I wanted to go to school in NYC, not some Catholic school.  (8/12/95)

That kind of reminds me of other situations where someone pressures me to do something I don't want to do; then on top of it, they want me to act happy that I'm doing it.

Anyway....

I have so many crazy-mixed feelings.  I still feel somewhat annoyed at my parents for pressuring me to go to film school when I didn't want to. For them, it wasn't about film school, specifically. They had this idea that I HAD to go to graduate school. I needed to continue my education. I think they feared that if I didn't, I'd waste my life. Or something like that. I think they were just anxious about my future.

Maybe if we had all been more educated in those days, I could have done research and explained to them, the benefits of having a gap year. Sometimes people need a break from it all, so they can learn more about themselves and how they want to spend their life.

In the end, though, I DID get that break from education. I dropped out of film school after a semester.

A part of me is regretting that. A part of me wishes I stayed and pursued a filmmaking career. But that still wouldn't have guaranteed success. And the only thing I might have gotten, from the adventure, is way too many horrific MeToo stories.

I can be pretty dense sometimes. I didn't realize until recently that women were so underrepresented in film.

Anyway, a large part of me does NOT regret leaving film school. I ended up moving to NYC to be with Tim, and those were wonderful years.  If anything, I regret leaving New York.

I am in Los Angeles now. I have mixed feelings sometimes. I have fun. Other times I feel very lonely. I just wish I didn't have to be here. But in a way I don't want to leave, because I like my apartment so much. (8/29/95)

I think that's funny.

I guess I just liked the feeling of living on my own?

It must have been nice in some ways.  I didn't have any roommates. The solitude probably gave me a mixture of fear, loneliness, and freedom.

I've been in California for exactly a month now and I still don't have a real friend. 

I haven't gotten any phone calls from any LA people and I haven't gone anywhere with anyone either.

The big highlight of my day is that the owner of the video store said, "Hi Dina". It was so nice to hear someone call me by name.

Despite my lack of contact with humanity (or animals for that matter), I am still in good spirits, probably because of Tim. I talk to him almost everyday now, and one day we plan to get married. Pretty cool. (9/19/95)

I find it kind of alarming that we didn't talk EVERY day. Was that normal in those days?

Well, it's easier to find time to text someone than it is to have a phone call. I remember Tim was very busy with work.

Rohit keeps calling, and he annoys the hell out of me. He is trying to invite himself over so I can cook for him. (10/11/95)

I don't remember Rohit at all.

Why did he want me to cook for him?  It's not like I've ever been an amazing chef.

This afternoon I dreamed that I was an adopted child in an Asian family. I felt pretty much unloved by them, except for my older brother. I loved him more than anything in the world.

I felt he was my protection, and the person I could lean on.

I feel confused about Tim. I love him, but I think he takes me for granted.  I think I want to feel that I am the most important person in the world to him and that he'd never leave me. I want to be the center of his life. But now I don't feel that way.

He used to make me feel so special. He does still call me a lot. I believe he still loves me. He just isn't very romantic about it anymore.  (11/29/95)

I like that dream. I wonder what it meant.

As for Tim, those feelings of doubt have never left me.

Did Tim's behavior change, or did my perception change?

I think one of the things I always wanted in life is to feel that I'm EXTREMELY important to someone. I wanted to be the center of someone's universe—their top priority. I wanted someone who adored me and worried about me. I wanted to be someone's favorite.

I'm not sure if that's a healthy wish.

I'm not sure it's realistic.

Whether it's a realistic wish or not, I think wishing it has caused me grief. When you have high expectations, it's easy to be disappointed.

I talked to April today which is a miracle for me since I thought I lost her forever. She's 14 now and in 8th grade. What really cracked me up is she said she had been dating Alan since he was 9, and they now had broke up.

I thought it has just been a camp fling.

She remembered "Boys are on this side" and "Cough 3 times for Froggy's breakfast, lunch, and dinner." I was happy because she mentioned them first.  (1/6/96)

Oh! I didn't remember that phone call. I'm very glad it happened.

The stuff in quotes were private jokes between the two of us. Well, they weren't really private. It was just fun/silly stuff that we shared.

I think that was the last time I talked to April, and she died about two years later. I didn't know about her death until recently.

Now Tim has visited and I love him even more.  It was the best time I have ever had with him. I feel so happy and comfortable with him. He is very cute. Now everything reminds me of him. (1/18/95)

That's sweet.

I wonder if Tim made me feel more loved during that visit.  Or did I simply push aside the feelings of insecurity?

I am still in love with Tim. This is the longest I have loved a guy. It's been about 11 months now and almost 10 months of dating.

Tim and I are getting closer and closer. I guess September-December  were one of the low points of our relationship, while Jan-March has been a high point. (3/13/95)

I'm guessing the low point was because of the distance?

I think by this time (March) I was living in NYC.

I vaguely remember a low point then.  But I think it maybe happened towards the summer.

I remember feeling very unloved by Tim—like he was annoyed and disgusted by me.  I remember maybe being in a park and complaining about the nature of things and him snapping, Well, I guess the honeymoon stage is over.  Or something like that.

I also remember going with him to Texas for my sister's high school graduation. We had a dinner with family friends, and I remember Tim spending a lot of time talking to our friend's current girlfriend. He gave her a lot of attention, and I felt lonely, rejected, hopeless, jealous, etc.  It wasn't just that he was giving her attention, but I think there was bad blood between me and him. We weren't getting along.

But that bad patch didn't last...fortunately.

I think it was just the adjustment of going from long distance to living in the same city. It's not always easy.

I'm in NY now. It's almost summer and it's 40 or so degrees. (5/12/96)

Oh! I guess I was wrong about having moved to NYC by March.

But then where was I then?  I dropped out of film school the first semester.  I guess I lived in Texas with my parents for awhile?

Things are pretty good here. At first things were super between me and Tim. We were like the perfect couple. Then we got cable TV and we became a normal couple. (5/12/95)

And NOW we have HBO, Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. They're pretty much the backbone of our relationship...and also coparenting Jack, Annie, and Yeti.

We have spent too much time together and we are beginning to annoy each other. I still love him, though and I'm not very worried because our problems are so typical. They're very much male/female problems. What TV show to watch. Guy flipping through channel. Looking at other women, etc. 

We have spent too much time together, though. Where you want time away from someone, but then when they leave, you miss them terribly.  (5/12/95)

To me, that kind of sounds like codependency.

I'm starting to see that Tim is definitely not perfect. For one thing he can't admit he was wrong. He'll apologize but he says it in a manipulative way to make it seem like he did nothing wrong and it's just all my fault. (5/22/95)

Holy fucking shit!

I had no idea I noticed it back then.

I didn't know I even really understood manipulation.

I'm kind of proud of my past self.

I still love him but I'm angry with him right now. I don't like the way he is treating me. I feel as though I'm unimportant to him and he made it perfectly clear that his career came before me. That is complicated, though. I know if someone said give up writing or lose Tim, I'd give up writing. If it was Tim who didn't want me to be a writer, I'd give up him. Still, he is being very insensitive lately. I'm not sure what to do. (5/22/95)

And now I'm not proud.

I was just thinking about this recently—wondering if I had pushed Tim to give up his career dreams.

I'm not sure.

He wanted to join the FBI.  In the version I WANT to be true, I got mad because he started talking about his career plans in a way that made it sound like he wasn't including me in the picture.

In the version, I'm scared is true, I pushed him not to follow his dreams because I worried too much about his safety.

I really don't know.

I might be deluding myself, but I'm kind of leaning towards the first. I don't think I'm the type of person to push someone to not follow their dreams.  I AM the type to get easily offended if I feel not loved enough.

Well...and just reread the excerpt. I don't think I'm THAT much of a hypocrite. I don't think I'd say I'd leave Tim if he asked me to stop writing while meanwhile insisting he give up his own career dreams.

Yeah. I think my anger WAS about hearing him making career goals in a way that made it sound like I might not be a part of the picture.

This weekend was the Jewish new year, so I'm supposed to reflect upon the year.

My favorite part has to be Tim. I am still madly in love with him. I get pissed at him sometimes, but I even love the things about him that drive me nuts.  

Update on life.

Melissa is at college now having a party life. 

Dawn hates her job.

I do temp work.

Tim works at Radio Shack.

Mom has a new computer. 

(There's some random stuff here about cousins I don't feel I should relay).

Life is insane! Oh, and Matthew is Jewish now. (3/15/96)

And THAT is the end of my adventures with Hallmark diaries.  I think it's funny that the last thing I ever wrote in them was about Matthew.

I have three writing notebooks I want to go through...I'll start that in a few weeks. Maybe.

In the future, I might also add my pregnancy/early motherhood journals. Right now, those still feel too fresh.  So I'll wait a bit on those.






My Life in 1995 (part 7)

More excerpts from my 1995 diary.

I'm onto the part of my life where I had just finished college.



Today I had a job interview with the zoo. I might work in the petting zoo. 

Last night I talked to Tim. He left this really long message on the answering machine. 

Melissa and Dawn thought he sounded nice. (5/9/95)

And when they met Tim, Melissa and Dawn grew to love him. They are two of the many women that Tim has charmed with his magical Tim powers.

At dinner we all laughed a lot because Melissa kept singing this weird phase, "Oh a biscuit". Melissa has been practicing her monologue all day.  (5/9/95)

I think this was the time that Melissa was the star of her school play.

I wonder if "Oh a biscuit" was something they used in drama class.

Well, I just Googled "Oh a Biscuit" to see if it was some kind of acting acting. I didn't find anything.

Maybe she just made it up. She IS very creative.

I went to the grocery store with my mom. We also ate lunch. I am in need of a Mother's Day Present. (5/11/95).

I like reading about times I did stuff with my mom.

I talked to Tim for more than 2 hours, and now I think my parents will kill me. I hope I get a job soon. (5/11/95)

Those were the days where long distance relationships were highly monetized.

I can't wait to see Tim. Melissa and I laid out all day and we got very sunburned. (5/13/95)

I wonder why I laid out like that. I'm not often a lay-in-the-sun kind of person. Was I trying to get tan for Tim?

I was kind of expecting my diary to tell the story of how I ended up deciding to visit Tim in New York. But I'm not seeing it. Fortunately, I have some memories.

Our family friends were having a wedding near NYC, and this gave me an excuse to go visit that guy from camp I now had a crush on. Otherwise, it would seem a bit full on. You know....

But then for some reason, my parents canceled the wedding plans. That was very disappointing. I no longer had a reasonable excuse to visit Tim. Somehow I convinced them to let me go anyway. And somehow I made plans to visit Tim without seeming like a total stalker.  I'm not sure how I managed that.

I think my dad is drunk. Well, at least he is acting weird. He is always seeming to put on an act. (5/13/95)

Yeah. I still see this in my dad a lot. It's like he's on stage even though he's not on stage.

I haven't gotten in a fight with anyone in my family yet, but that is not saying much because I've been only home for a week. (5/15/95)

The grammar there is messed up. It sounds like I hadn't left the house in a week. If that was the case, I think there probably WOULD be fighting.

It is 2:42 in the morning, and I'm listening to music. I put new pictures on my bulletin board. Ran across many old faces. It is memory lane now. (5/18/95)

While traveling down memory lane, I'm reading about past journeys down memory lane.

We saw Dichard. It is a great movie. My mom didn't like it. She called it unrealistic. These days whenever my parents don't like a movie they call it unrealistic. (5/19/95)

I have no idea what movie I was talking about there. I'm guessing I misspelled it. I Googled similar words and couldn't find anything.

Maybe if I look in May 1995 film releases?

No...didn't find anything.

I looked in April as well.

It could have been something we rented?

I just realized I am going to NY on the anniversary of Dawn's accident. May 26. I think this is the 5 year anniversary.  (5/21/95)

I think Dawn would have been mad if she knew I had forgotten. Knowing myself...if I was her, I'd be offended as well.

Well...at least I remembered eventually.

I really like Tim a lot. I talked to him on the phone for 2 hours last night. He is just so nice and funny. I feel a strong connection to him. 

The funniest thing is I said I'd never date anyone again. 

I guess even I break promises to my own self. (5/21/95)

Was this my way of complaining that people break promises they've made to me, and I was joining them in that game?  Or did I mean, lots of people break promises to themselves, and now I'm one of them as well.

Grandma is doing better, but people think she won't make it through the summer. (5/24/95)

She DID make it through the summer, but she died a year or two after that. I often forget if she died in 1996 or 1997.

I'll go check.

Okay.

She died on May 5, 1997.  So it was close to two years later.

Work was fun. I think my new friend is Elliot the cat. He stayed in the room with me a lot. He is a nice animal. After work I went to the zoo and visited the apes. The orangutan was leaning against the glass. It was special because I've never been that close to an orangutan. He was very cute. 

I was kind of jealous because he was giving this little girl all the attention. I wanted him to give me attention. Oh well. You can't have everything. (5/24/95)

I had gotten the job at the zoo.

Reading the above makes me kind of wish I had given up (at least temporarily) on writing and film and pursued a career in animals instead.

Maybe I could have been a zookeeper.

On the other hand, I'm quite satisfied having Annie and our new cat, Yeti.

There have been many times where we've said no more pets. We're going to give ourselves more freedom to travel. But...I think I'm realizing I need animals in my life. And not just animals I observe from the window or in the backyard. Those experiences are lovely. But I think I also need animals that are my best friends.

I am in love with Tim and he's in love with me. I think he will be the man I end up marrying and he thinks so too. (5/29/95)

Well...I guess a lot happened on that one weekend.

Did we really talk about marriage so soon?

I think he is the best thing that ever happened to me. I just hope things work out because things seem to good to be true. I love him so much. 

It is pretty funny. This weekend has really changed my life and now I am so happy. (5/29/95)

I think back then I relied way too much on life events for happiness and sadness.

I'm sure if Tim hadn't returned my romantic feelings, I would have come home depressed and suicidal.

I think the best mental health advice comes from the poem by Rudyard Kipling: If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same.

And, of course, I'm not criticizing a young woman for being happy about finding love. Who wouldn't be happy in that case?

I just know, from reading my diaries, and seeing my track record...it was too easy for me to ride those ups and downs.

In New York, we hung out and went shopping and did fun things. It was one of the best and happiest times of my life. I hope it stays happy. I really do. (5/29/95)

It stayed PARTLY happy. But since I live in real life and not a fairy tale, there's also been sadness, anger, disappointment, etc

I really am in love with Tim. He wrote me 3 very sweet letters tonight. He is so special to me. I hope I spend my life with him because he is so nice.  Tim told me about really awful things in his childhood and he is so strong. It makes me realize that no matter how bad your life was, you can't use it as an excuse to be a bad person. Tim is very inspirational to me. He is great and wonderful. (6/2/95)

I wonder if I told him about the negative things that happened to me in my childhood. And if I did, how did he respond? And what was he thinking and feeling?  Was it along the lines of, well, that's nothing compared to what I've been through?  Or was he as touched by, and interested in,  my life story as much as I had been by his?

The thing is, the inspiration I once felt gradually morphed into resentment. A feeling developed of Tim being the star of our story, and I have often felt like a supporting character. Often it seems like my problems, aspirations, and backstory matter less than his.

Some of those feelings come from my own self-esteem issues. But I won't give myself all the credit. I believe a lot of it comes from things Tim has said, done, not said, and not done.

There is no way to please my mother and my father will always take credit for what I do and who I am. That is their nature. I can't change them. I can only work on myself. My mother is displeased with everything and she keeps sticking up for Matthew. That is because he is like Dad. 

I need to realize this is my life and to do things on my own, because I can't do things to please my parents. They can never be pleased. (6/8/95)

That IS so not true! They were very pleased when I developed an eating disorder and lost tons of weight.

Okay, and they've also been pleased at other times.

They're very pleased that I brought Tim into the family.

They're pleased I gave them a grandchild.

They were very pleased when I made family videos, and that was wonderful. I felt I was contributing something important to the family. But then, a few years later, they turned around and gave the filmmaker role to Tim.

I'm trying to think of other times that I've been able to please or impress them.

Singing! My mom is very nice about my singing. I like that. Also my mom has given me nice compliments on how I interact with the children in the family. That was very sweet of her.

My dad once gave me really nice compliments on a screenplay I had written. Or was it a novel?  Maybe both?

This summer, my dad acted pleased that I had unloaded the dishwasher. I think he was working on being more appreciative of other people doing chores. It was nice of him to be thankful.  But it was kind of a mess on that occasion, because it ended up that there was confusion over whether those dishes had been clean or dirty.

Lately I feel a yuckiness in my heart and I feel weird. (6/6/95)

I wonder if it's related to the weird feelings I get today.

Usually, they ARE yucky feelings. Yesterday, though, I had one that wasn't bad,  I felt this pressure in my head, but it felt kind of cool instead of awful.  Maybe it felt like being on drugs?

Last night Tim called and said he might come to Chicago. I love him so much.  He is the best guy I have ever met. (6/8/95)

We were visiting family and having a graduation party for my cousins and me.

I am so happy because Tim is definitely coming to Chicago. That is the nicest thing a guy has ever done for me. (6/11/95)

Yes. It was very nice!

I really love Tim, but sometimes I worry he is too great and he is not a gift from God, but a cruel trick where something too perfect is snatched away from me. But I know I must stop thinking that way. (6/22/95)

I can't blame myself for that skepticism. It's hard to have faith in love when you've had negative prior experiences. And what person hasn't? It's a miracle that any of us have faith in love.

Sometimes I feel so detached from my life. It is like I am watching one of those movies where I don't feel like I am part of it. It is strange. 

I am waiting for Tim to call.

We have been dating for a month now.

I love him.

Sometimes I am scared because I am growing up and there are so many changes. 

In the movie yesterday they said people are afraid of change but they shouldn't be because they should find comfort in knowing that the one thing that will always be guaranteed is that there will be change. Nothing stays the same. (7/1/95)

It's like that song from Avenue Q—"For Now".

There HAVE been lots of changes.

I no longer see Tim through rose-colored glasses.

I no longer work at the zoo.

I AM back to living in the same house, though!  Sometimes change involves going back to where you started.











Monday, May 14, 2018

My Life in 1995 (part 6)

My college diaries continued.

These excerpts come from towards the end of my senior year.



The best thing is that Tim called last night and I don't know how he feels about me, but I think he might be the guy I am supposed to marry, if I am supposed to marry.

I am beginning to think that marriage is not in my destiny. Otherwise, why would I find a guy in New York, but then be sent to California.  

I really thought I was supposed to go to New York.

Tim keeps talking about destiny and that always makes me think of Forrest Gump. (4/21/95)

I think that was the first time we had spoken on the phone.  I think we had been emailing for a few weeks prior to that.

Tim later told me he hadn't had feelings for me back then...outside of enjoying a camp-reunion kind of friendship. Or something like that.  

I think Tim is the type of man who gives a lot of friendly attention to women even though he's probably not attracted to them. I think he, James, and David-from-my-first-semester are similar. With many women, they are attentive, funny, jovial, and helpful. And in return, they get lots of adoration.  

Oh! And my dad is the same way.  

Last night I got in a fight with Matthew. Now I don't really want to be his friend anymore. 

He is greedy, a snob, selfish, rude, immature, racist, and cruel.

I think he has serious problems and he tries to control people.

Tim said it seems like Matthew is trying to end the relationship by making it impossible for me to be friends with him.  (4/23/95)

OR could it be that Matthew was the same as I was back then. I would test people by sulking and talking about suicide. Maybe Matthew tested people by being very offensive.

I think we were both disturbed.  It makes me wonder. Is is for the best that we split apart? Or could we have somehow been helpful to each other?

We had fun at Six Flags. I was with Carol and Luke. Then I lost them and I found Russ, Jenni, and Brian so I hung out with them. It was a lot of fun. 

The worst thing was Rachel didn't show up. (4/30/95)

I'm GUESSING that Rachel was Rachel from my CF days. She lived in the same city as that particular Six Flags. I'm guessing we were still in contact and had made plans?

Or I could be totally wrong and it was another Rachel.  

The one thing I remember on this trip is Luke making me laugh. He was poking fun at the fact that people scream when they get wet on water rides. So why don't they scream like that when taking a shower?

BUT now I've come to realize it's probably about water temperature.

I talked to Tim on the phone for about an hour on Friday and we talked on the computer last night for about an hour. (4/30/95)

Cool!

I talked to Dr. H. which was embarrassing since I am sick. I think maybe I learned a lesson about hanging out in wet clothes. I spent 5 hours in wet clothes. That aint good. (5/2/95)

The dangers of Six Flags.

I really think I am falling in love with Tim. My mother says that is totally impossible, because you can't fall in love with someone on the telephone. 

Who ever made up that rule? 

I hate when people make up rules of love and expect you to follow them.  (5/5/95)

I think times have changed, and now a lot of people are open to the idea of falling in love via telephone, text, email, etc.

Linda B. was so sweet. She started crying when she said good-bye to me. Mr. K was nice too. Everyone was so nice, and even the rabbi was friendly to my parents. I was quite surprised.

Matthew came. I haven't seen him for two weeks. He was pretty nice and he said he got me a graduation present.  (5/5/95)

I was referring to synagogue, I assume.

My parents had come in for graduation, so I guess I had invited them to go to a Friday night service with me.  

Today was graduation. It was boring, but not that bad. (5/7/95)

I'm kind of mad at my roommates because they canceled dinner yesterday and I did not see them at graduation. I think that was rude. I'm kind of glad to get out of there. (5/7/95)

Well, now I do kind of feel bad for my past self.  Earlier I had felt abandoned by Matthew regarding the graduation. And now I was rejected by my roommates.

I think also, rejection hurts even more when there is an audience.

I can imagine I felt embarrassed telling my parents and sisters that my roommates weren't going to show up.  If I remember correctly, there was hardly anyone I knew at graduation. I remember feeling a bit like a loser.

On the bright side, it seems I got a lot of love from the Jewish community there.